Call TV Quiz Services Review A Revised Statement of

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					        Call TV Quiz Services Review:
     A Revised Statement of Expectations

                     A STATEMENT BY ICSTIS




Issued by ICSTIS on 4 April 2007
Call TV Quiz Services – a review of the Statement of Expectations
_____________________________________________________________________________

Contents
Section                                                                        Page

1.                         Executive Summary                                       3

2.                         Background                                              5

3.                         Summary of Responses                                    7

4.                         Conclusion and Next Steps                              13


Annex One                  Organisations Responding to the Consultation

Annex Two                  Revised Statement of Expectations for Call TV Quiz Services




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Section 1
Executive Summary
We worked very closely with Ofcom to produce the first Statement of Expectations for Call TV
Quiz Services in early 20061. When we published our consultation document reviewing the
Statement on 29 January 2007 we acknowledged that now was the right time to review that
document one year on and in light of the recent recommendations helpfully made by the
Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee2. Many of the recommendations made by the Select
Committee related to ICSTIS’ regulation and our consultation document appeared to have
captured the essence of the main concerns identified by the Select Committee.

Issues of transparency have been at the heart of the review. This has been both in terms of their
cost and the chance of being successful in getting through to the TV presenter. These issues
must be clear so that consumers can exercise choice fairly and in a way that provides them with
trust and confidence. This has also been a matter, understandably, of much media, political and
public interest.

In the last few weeks, the media and public interest in the generality of premium rate services
provided through broadcast output has grown considerably following on from a number of well-
reported allegations about the practices of some of these programmes as they have related to
the provision of competitions or votes as part of the editorial output of a TV programme. ICSTIS
and Ofcom are working closely together and have a number of services under investigation
using the relevant provisions of our respective Codes of Practice. At the same time, Ofcom has
announced an inquiry into premium rate telecoms services in television programmes. We very
much welcome this inquiry, which has a focus on compliance concerns, and we will be making
an extensive input into it. The scope of that inquiry does not in any way conflict with moving
forward with finalising the ICSTIS Statement of Expectations for Call TV Quiz Services.

We believe the proposals and enhancements to our expectations address the specific concerns
that many commentators and the Select Committee identified with the current operation of Call
TV Quiz Services. Specifically, we are proposing to tighten provisions in the following areas:

    o    Transparency as to chance of getting through to air: the chances of
         acceptance or rejection of an attempt by a viewer to get beyond the first stage
         must be shown on-screen in near real-time. This will be achieved as a minimum
         by a prominent permanently visible stand-alone display (whether static, crawling
         or scrolling) showing the total number of entries (paid and free) to the service in
         the preceding 15-minute period. This must be updated at no more than 10-minute
         intervals. This minimum standard would mean showing six updates within the
         space of an hour.

    o    Pricing information: as well as the other obligations in the Statement for pricing
         information to be provided, we now require that pricing information must be
         spoken by a presenter or voice-over at intervals of no more than 10 minutes.
         The pricing announcement must make clear that the cost will apply regardless
         of whether the entrant is successful in getting through to the studio. The ICSTIS
         Help Note on pricing information provides further general guidance.


1
  Such services are defined in Annex 2 to this document and should not be confused with general premium
rate services which may be an additional component in a TV programme.
2
  Ofcom and ICSTIS’ joint submission to the Select Committee Report on TV quiz shows can be found at
http://www.icstis.org.uk/pdfs_news/Calltvquiz_jointresponseDCMS.pdf



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    o    Call cost warnings: must be provided to all callers (other than where the
         number is withheld) at intervals of no more than each £10 spent in each
         calendar day. Alternatively, warnings may be provided at set call intervals in
         any calendar day that equate to accumulations of £10 of call spend (for
         example, call warnings at every tenth call where the cost of each call is £1).
         Such warning must make clear the number of calls, the cost of each
         chargeable call and that this may vary across different networks.

    The revised Statement of Expectations is set out in full at Annex 2 to this document.
    The document takes effect four weeks from the date of its publication. This is in order
    to allow time for providers to make necessary changes to their systems and
    procedures, taking account of the enhanced consumer protection requirements being
    introduced.

    We will work with Ofcom to keep this revised Statement of Expectations and these
    services under review, especially over the coming weeks and months. This includes
    random monitoring to ensure compliance with the ICSTIS Code of Practice and
    individual conditions in permission certificates. We will also be remaining in close
    contact with the Gambling Commission as it finalises its review and consultation on
    Prize Competitions and Free Draws.

    In the meantime, we will be developing an enhanced prior permission regime for all
    premium rate services which are broadcast and these will be the subject of a separate
    consultation shortly. In developing these proposals, we will continue to work closely
    with Ofcom to ensure that our approach is consistent with its policy development for
    Participation TV more generally.




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Section 2
Background
On 10 October 2006 ICSTIS announced that it was to carry out a review of the Call TV Quiz
sector. In making the announcement, we made clear that our recent monitoring of Quiz TV
programming, combined with evidence from complaints, has highlighted a number of issues
that need to be explored with the industry and others. This has been supported by consumer
research.

Services that use premium rate as a form of payment need to be clear on the cost of taking
part and transparent as to how the services work. There is a concern at present that this is
not always the case with all Call TV Quiz Services. Users are entitled to the protection of our
Code of Practice – and we confirmed that our review would look at all Call TV Quiz Services
and the effectiveness of current safeguards.

We made clear that we would report on our findings and any regulatory action as soon as we
could. Any action will be in keeping with our commitment to good regulatory practice and be
evidence-based. Finally, we specified that the review would cover:

Transparency
Do consumers actually understand what’s involved – the cost of taking part, the element
of chance and the fact that all callers pay even if they fail to get through to the studio?

On-screen statements
Do the on-screen statements made by presenters always match records of calls to the
programme (for example, statements that no calls are being received)?

Excessive use
There appears to be some evidence of problems with repeat calls and bad debt. Should
call/spend limits exist, be mandated or left to the industry?

Prize fulfilment
Do operators have efficient arrangements in place to ensure prizes are issued quickly and
with certainty?

Free web entry routes
Are we confident that these are genuine alternatives?

It should be noted that our review is not primarily designed to touch upon editorial content
issues such as the perceived fairness of the quizzes and the quiz questions. While we
recognise that there have been some well-reported cases in the media about this issue, the
regulation of this aspect of the services rests with Ofcom. Our regulatory responsibility arises
where the on-screen content amounts to the promotion of a premium rate service. This, along
with the respective division of responsibilities in the regulatory sphere of Call TV Quiz
Services, was made clear in the joint submission ICSTIS and Ofcom made to the Culture,
Media & Sport Select Committee for its hearing on 28 November3. A copy of our joint
submission is at http://www.icstis.org.uk/pdfs_news/inquiry_calltvquiz.pdf.

ICSTIS’ Call TV Quiz Services Review – Analysis and Consultation Document was published on
29 January 2007. In all, 16 responses were received. We are grateful for all of the organisations
that took the time and effort to provide constructive comments and suggestions. A list of

3
 Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code Rule 2.11 states: “Competitions should be conducted fairly, prizes should
be described accurately and rules should be clear and appropriately made known.”


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respondents is at Annex 1 and all non-confidential responses have been posted on the ICSTIS
website.

The consultation identified six questions on which specific responses were requested from
respondents.

Section 3 provides a summary based on the responses to each of the six questions. Where
respondents had more general comments regarding proposed changes, the evidence from the
ICSTIS monitoring review or ICSTIS’ approach to this issue, they are included under a separate
heading.




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Section 3
Summary of Responses
Set out below is a summary of the responses provided to the six questions which were posed in
the consultation, each of which relates to how the Statement of Expectations for Call TV Quiz
Services could be enhanced in order to provide greater transparency and consumer protection
for users of these services.

Q1. Do respondents agree that the provisions for pricing transparency should be
strengthened by requiring pricing information to be spoken by a presenter or voice-over
at intervals of no more than 10 minutes and by making clear that the cost will apply
regardless of whether the callers gets through to the studio?

Positive responses were received from all broadcasters and nearly all service/content providers
of Call TV Quiz Services, who stated that their current practice is in line with ICSTIS’ proposal.
However, one response suggested ICSTIS should be mindful of its own evidence, showing that
87% of consumers are aware of charges and that 78% are aware of the random element to call
selection, before introducing further regulation.

Two respondents saw no reason to change the current requirement that pricing information is
spoken every 5-15 minutes and one warned that pricing announcements may not be accurate
given that the actual cost of a call would vary according to network rates.

Conclusion
While ICSTIS acknowledges that the majority of Call TV Quiz Service providers require
presenters to give pricing information at 5-15 minute intervals, it is not currently always made
clear to viewers that their call will be charged regardless of whether they get through to the
studio. In addition, the majority of respondents, especially those involved in the broadcast
element, have indicated that they already require announcements at 10- minute intervals or less
in line with ICSTIS’ proposal.

ICSTIS also acknowledges that the actual cost of calls may vary, dependent upon network
charges, especially in respect of mobile phones. However, providing viewers with spoken pricing
information, and informing them regularly that they will be charged whether they are put through
to the studio or not, will make viewers more aware of the minimum cost of each call and the fact
that it applies to every one they make.

In light of the responses, ICSTIS concludes that the updated requirements surrounding spoken
pricing information in the proposed Statement of Expectations should remain as worded in the
consultation, namely that spoken pricing should be required at no more than 10-minute intervals
and make clear that the cost applies to every call made.

Q2. Do respondents agree that requiring no further transparency around the rates of
rejection/acceptance of calls is not an option?

While many respondents felt that their programming already provided viewers with clear
information to make an informed choice about entry, or that current media attention was out of
proportion to the 15-20 complaints about this that ICSTIS receives per month, many
respondents felt that the Quiz TV sector would benefit from enhanced consumer confidence and
agreed with ICSTIS that doing nothing further was not an option.

Of the responses which disagreed, all concurred that further measures needed to be taken to
ensure consumer confidence in the Quiz TV sector. However, some respondents did not accept
that ICSTIS needed to increase regulatory requirements, arguing either that ICSTIS could


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enforce using the existing Statement of Expectations or that the industry itself could consider
and adopt safeguards without further formal regulation. In respect of action that the industry
might take, no specific proposals were put forward at this time.

Conclusion
ICSTIS considers that respondents are in general agreement that greater transparency needs to
be achieved if Call TV Quiz Services are to sustain consumer confidence and continue to grow.
Many respondents, including all broadcasters and a majority of those who generate or provide
content, welcome ICSTIS’ lead in establishing a standard of greater transparency.

ICSTIS made clear in the consultation document that any changes to the current Statement of
Expectations for Call TV Quiz Services should be evidence-based, and considers that the
monitoring review carried out in late 2006 has provided evidence that the current Statement is
not fully equipped to ensure consumer trust going forward.

ICSTIS further considers that a uniform standard for transparency around call
rejection/acceptance rates is needed if viewers are to be fully aware and informed about the
Quiz TV sector. If each channel implements a different standard of transparency, viewers will
not realise the tangible benefits that many respondents to the consultation desire and see as
necessary.

In light of the responses, ICSTIS concludes that further transparency is required and that a
standard should be included in a revised Statement of Expectations.

Q3. Do respondents agree that publication on-screen of the real-time odds of getting
through to a Quiz TV studio is not justifiable or proportionate, and may further confuse
consumers?

The majority of respondents, including all service/content providers and all but one broadcaster,
who made no comment, agreed with ICSTIS’ assessment that the publication on-screen of real-
time odds would be disproportionate and, for the most part, not technically feasible.
Respondents gave a number of reasons for this answer, as follows:

• cost of providing such information
• technical difficulty of providing such information
• rapid fluctuations in caller numbers would make such information confusing
  or unintentionally inaccurate even as it is provided
• concern that to offer real-time odds would bring Call TV Quiz Services closer
  to being defined as “gambling”

While some respondents indicated that their own technology would allow them to do this, they
acknowledged that the majority of other respondents would find it difficult to do without
significant cost which was out of proportion to the consequent increased consumer awareness.

The one response which disagreed with ICSTIS’ assessment indicated that some live TV
events, such as Comic Relief, appear to give a cumulative indication of the number of calls
made, and therefore that similar technology could be employed to extrapolate the number of
new callers on a real-time basis. However, the respondent concerned also indicated that he
would be content with the less demanding principles ICSTIS set out and endorsed as part of
Question 4.

Conclusion
ICSTIS considers that respondents expressed broad agreement with our assessment, and
concludes that requiring publication on-screen of real-time odds as part of any revised



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Statement of Expectations would be disproportionate and may not deliver the benefits that the
public and the industry desire. There also appear to be technical constraints.

Q4. What are respondents’ views as to how greater transparency about rates of
rejection/acceptance of calls can be best achieved?

Option 3, as set out in the consultation document, would change the existing Quiz TV
Statement of Expectations to require frequently updated information on-screen as to the actual
chances of getting through to the studio, by whatever means of contact (voice, SMS or web),
over recent blocks of programming.

Three examples of how this could be achieved, as set out by ICSTIS, were:

a) on-screen data which advises how many calls were made to a programme
   in the last 15 minutes, regularly updated
b) on-screen data showing what proportion of callers have made it through to air
   in the last 15 minutes, regularly updated
c) on-screen data showing the total number of calls in the last hour, updated hourly

As this question had asked for views, rather than a simple ‘agree/disagree’ response, responses
were predictably diverse.

The eight respondents who expressed support for Option 3 generally favoured example a), as
set out above, or were already putting into practice example a) or a variant of it, such as the
number of callers in the last five or 10 minutes.

Other examples were suggested by respondents as to how on-screen data informing viewers of
their chances of getting through to the studio could be best provided. These were:

• display of the number of calls this round (i.e. since the last call through to the studio)
• display of the number of unique callers taking part in any given round

Responses which did not express support for Option 3 generally expressed concern that
requiring live or near-live statistics would burden Call TV Quiz Services, especially network
operators, with a significant cost that was disproportionate to the actual number of complaints
that ICSTIS receives about such services. However, the majority of network operators and
service/content providers confirmed that they would have no problem providing some form of
on-screen display of near-live statistics. Those who objected on cost grounds provided no data
to support their claim.

One provider, who was generally supportive of the need to display some information regarding
the odds of being put through, signalled that to publish the actual number of callers to their
programmes would give out commercially sensitive information, and break confidentiality
agreements they have with the broadcasters whom they supply. They also suspected that the
same would be true of other service/content providers. However, no other provider or
broadcaster who responded suggested that this would be a problem for them.

While supportive, some respondents stressed the need to be given time to test different types of
information display in order to ensure that they work for different styles of shows. In addition,
ICSTIS was urged not to set a standard that does not allow different types of information for
different formats of programme. For example, a programme that requires viewers to all phone in
at once, with one caller being picked from those who call, may need a different type of on-
screen display than a programme where viewers can phone in over a longer period of time.




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Conclusion
It was obvious from the responses received that the majority had carefully considered this issue.
Many have begun to trial on-screen data of this type, and reported the success or otherwise of
their experience so far.

ICSTIS concludes that the majority of respondents have accepted that more information is
needed regarding the chance of getting through to a programme after which skill in answering
the quiz question will determine whether the caller wins a prize. There was, however,
considerable debate around how this can be best achieved. It is important to balance the need
for clear information to be given to viewers against the practicability for providers of delivering a
meaningful on-screen display. We accept that too much information on screen can create
“clutter” and lead to viewer confusion.

A number of respondents suggested that they would be willing to take part in a Working Group
to take this forward. We welcome this offer. However, given the public interest and concern in
these services, we believe that too much time would be needed to undertake such an exercise.
Therefore, we have decided to press ahead with a revised Statement of Expectations, especially
as there was general support for the proposals put forward in the consultation. On balance we
have concluded that prominent and permanently visible information in a stand-alone display
about the total entries made in the preceding 15 minutes should be provided on-screen and this
should be updated at no more than 10-minute intervals. We believe this is proportionate given
that this is key information which should aid transparency for viewers.

Q5. If respondents do not agree with any of the three options ICSTIS set out for ensuring
greater transparency, what alternatives do they suggest?

There were fewer suggestions in response to Question 5.

Such suggestions as were made included:

• displaying the total number of calls and average number of calls going through
  to the studio from the last edition of the same programme
• for ICSTIS to publish its research findings about the chances of callers getting
  through to the studio, and make this known to the general public
• to give equal prominence and treatment to free web entry routes

 In respect of the first of these propositions, we believe that the suggestions made by a number
 of respondents in answer to Question 4 above were preferable from a transparency
 perspective.

 We are not clear, in respect of the second comment, how this could be achieved in practice in
 order to aid general consumer understanding.

 In respect of the third point, this is a matter which the Gambling Commission is considering as
 part of its consultation on Prize Competitions and Free Draws which was published in August
 2006.

 Q6. Do respondents agree with ICSTIS’ proposal that cumulative call warnings should
 be provided at no more than each £10 spent by a consumer over each day, as identified
 and where available through a phone number which has not been withheld? Are there
 any other suggestions as to how excessive use can be minimized?

 The majority of responses were in agreement with ICSTIS that a call warning at every £10
 spent within a 24-hour period was reasonable. However, concern was expressed by a number
 of respondents about how a £10 call warning would be triggered, given that this definition of


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 the cost of calls is based on a standard BT rate, and does not reflect the different network
 charges that might also apply, especially from mobile phones. It was suggested that warning
 messages received by consumers who have spent £10 should also warn that a further network
 cost may apply.

 Respondents also requested further clarification as to whether a 24-hour period ran from
 12am, or whether it would be more prudent to tie this period in with peak viewing times – for
 example, from 6pm.

 Other suggestions as to how excessive use can be further minimised were as follows:

• repeat high-volume users are contacted to ensure their phone bill has been paid
  before they are allowed further entry
• that callers be alerted every thirteenth call to equate roughly to the equivalent of
  £10 call spend assuming each call cost 75p from a BT landline
• callers who have withheld their numbers are given the option to obtain warnings
  every £10 (it was not clear how such an option could be enacted and we strongly
  believe it is technically not possible).

 Conclusion
 ICSTIS acknowledges that different network rates mean that no Call TV Quiz Service provider
 can be certain when a user has spent £10 on calls. However, we consider that warnings at £10
 intervals (based on BT rates, as are other ICSTIS Code provisions which prescribe call
 warnings), with a message stating that network extras may apply, are the most practical
 method of allowing Quiz TV participants to take responsibility for their actions.

 While other suggestions, such as ensuring high-level users can pay their phone bill before
 allowing further participation are good practice, ICSTIS does not have any power to demand
 this. We recognise also that network operators take steps to contact customers when unusual
 call patterns and costs appear on their telephone bills, and we welcome such actions.

 On balance, ICSTIS proposes that the updated requirement in the proposed Statement of
 Expectations to give warnings at £10 intervals (at BT rates) should remain as suggested in the
 consultation. We believe that for clarity this should refer to a calendar day, not any 24-hour
 period, as worded in the consultation. We believe that the principle can also be achieved by
 providing a periodic warning after a certain number of calls closely equivalent to this spend,
 provided that when this is done, the caller is advised both of the number of calls made and that
 each has been charged at the advertised (BT) rate subject to the ‘network extras’ caveat.

 We understand some service providers have mechanisms in place to identify high repeat
 callers and a policy of informing these callers that there is a cap on the number of attempted
 entries they will accept from a caller in a day. It is clear, however, that the technology does
 not yet exist to bar incoming calls from these individuals. The use of messages making clear
 that further calling is pointless is a deterrent measure; not one that will prevent further calls
 with absolute certainty. We are not aware, however, of circumstances in which the deterrent
 has failed. Insofar as the issue of excessive calling to a number or service of any nature is a
 general issue that goes beyond Call TV Quiz Services, it is one we are pursuing with
 network operators as part of our broader work around public information, education and
 empowerment.

 General Comment
 While some respondents questioned the need for ICSTIS to update the existing Statement of
 Expectations, the majority of respondents welcomed the consultation as timely, broadly
 sensible and proportionate.



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 The majority of networks, broadcasters, and service/content providers signalled that they
 would have little technical difficulty in complying with the proposed new Statement of
 Expectations. The exception to this is the means by which viewers will be more clearly
 informed of the chance of getting through to the studio when they call.

 One respondent questioned whether some aspects of the proposed Statement of Expectations
 could be clearly linked to Code provisions from which the interpretation was drawn. We
 recognise that in some cases there may be grounds for ambiguity. To avoid any confusion, we
 intend to withdraw all current permission certificates issued to Call TV Quiz Service providers
 in order to provide the live element of the service and re-issue permission certificates to service
 providers which contain the obligations in the Statement of Expectations. The obligations will
 be set out as separate conditions of the permission certificate.

 Impact Assessment
 The consultation document identified that changes which could arise from any revision to the
 Statement of Expectations could impact on the costs of those in the value chain who provide
 such services. We equally hypothesised that, if the market for such services is worth some
 £120m per annum, a 5% increase in participation by telephone participants (assuming
 improved trust) would generate an increase in revenues of some £6m per annum. We also
 identified, but could not quantify, the savings that may arise from reduced complaint handling
 costs if trust improves.

 We sought information from respondents as to any data they could share about both market
 size and the proper costs that would be involved in the suggested regulatory changes that we
 outlined. We made clear that the more information we had, the better we would be able to
 ensure that the steps we propose are grounded in measurable benefits, as well as those we
 perceive and believe to be proportionate.

 It was disappointing to note that few respondents addressed themselves to this aspect of the
 consultation. Where they did, they welcomed the fact that the issue had been raised but were
 unable to supply any data which would either support or challenge the hypothesis. In the
 absence of any new information, we remain of the view that the benefits from the changes to
 the Statement of Expectations proposed in this statement outweigh the costs to providers for
 delivering them.




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Section 4
Conclusion and Next Steps
The revised Statement of Expectations is set out in full at Annex 2 to this document. The
document takes effect four weeks from the date of its publication. This is in order to allow
time for providers to make necessary changes to their systems and procedures taking
account of the enhanced consumer protection requirements being introduced.

We will work with Ofcom to keep this revised Statement of Expectations and these
services under review, especially over the coming weeks and months. This includes
random monitoring to ensure compliance with the ICSTIS Code of Practice and individual
conditions in permission certificates.

In the meantime, we will be developing an enhanced prior permission regime for all
premium rate services which are broadcast and these will be the subject of a separate
consultation shortly. In developing these proposals, we will continue to work closely with
Ofcom to ensure that our approach is consistent with its policy development for
Participation TV more generally.




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Annex One
Organisations Responding to the Consultation
The 16 respondents to ICSTIS’ consultation document were:

•   Big Game TV
•   BT
•   Carphone Warehouse *
•   Citizens Advice Bureau
•   Five
•   ITV
•   Kingston Communications
•   Mobile Broadband Group
•   Network for Online Commerce
•   Optimistic Media
•   Ostrich Media
•   Play to Win
•   Premium Rate Association
•   Sky
•   Thus
•   Virgin Media



* Confidential response.




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Annex Two
Revised Statement of Expectations
for Call TV Quiz Services
1.0 Background
The Statement of Expectations for Call TV Quiz Services has been revised following the
review of these services in early 2007. In particular, some consumers misunderstand the
nature of the service or the charges levied regardless of whether they are successful in
getting through to the studio. Accordingly, ICSTIS wishes to ensure that providers of these
services have as much clarity as possible as to the regulatory requirements and the
interpretation of the Code that ICSTIS will apply. This Statement should be read in
conjunction with the ICSTIS Code of Practice. Service providers and network operators
should be aware that this Statement details the likely interpretation of the Code of Practice
by the ICSTIS Board. This is particularly so where breaches of the Code are raised by the
Executive in relation to Call TV Quiz Services.

2.0 Call TV Quiz services defined
This Statement applies only to broadcast output (programmes, channels and tele-
shopping) on television where:

    o    The primary function and content of the entire output is participation in
         competitions by viewers.
    o    Viewers are invited to call or text a premium rate number to give their answer
         (normally either by being connected to the presenter or via a call back).
    o    If viewers are not selected initially, they are informed accordingly and have
         the opportunity to make repeat attempts.

Call TV Quiz Services should not be confused with general broadcast TV output which
may include a premium rate competition or vote as part of the editorial content, and which
do not form a part of the definition of Call TV Quiz Services.

3.0 The need for prior permission
Where Call TV Quiz Services offer viewers the chance to participate in a live conversation,
such services are “Live Services” for the purposes of the current ICSTIS Code of Practice
(11th edition) and, as such, require prior permission to operate. An application form for
these services, which is designed to be completed on a self-declaration basis by the
service provider, is available on our website. It should be noted that the declaration
requirements of the application form are not overly prescriptive but do make reference to
this Statement of Expectations. Any service operating without having applied for prior
permission from ICSTIS will be in breach of the Code. If permission is not granted for the
service, it may not operate a live element thereafter.

4.0 Expectations
The following points and attempts by service providers to meet them, based on the
Board’s interpretation of the Code of Practice in the context of Call TV Quiz Services, will
be taken into account when considering a complaint about any such service and applying
the Code of Practice:

    o    As required by the Code, pricing information on-screen must be easily legible,
         prominent, horizontal and not require close examination. If it crawls or scrolls,
         it should never be off-screen for more than 60 seconds.




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    o    Pricing information on-screen must make clear that the charge applies to
         all calls, regardless of whether the viewer is successful in getting through.

    o    Pricing information must be spoken by a presenter or voice-over at intervals
         of no more than 10 minutes. The pricing announcement must make clear that
         the cost will apply regardless of whether the entrant is successful in getting
         through to the next stage of the service. The ICSTIS Help Note on pricing
         information provides further general guidance.

    o    Pricing information, in a basic format, making clear to consumers that all calls
         are being charged, should be announced in the message at the beginning of
         every call to the service. An equivalent return text message should be sent to
         viewers who use premium SMS to participate.

    o    Call cost warnings must be provided to all callers (other than where the
         number is withheld) at intervals of no more than each £104 spent in each
         calendar day. Alternatively, warnings may be provided at set call intervals in
         any calendar day that equate to accumulations of £10 of call spend (for
         example, call warnings at every tenth call where the cost of each call is £1).
         Such warning must make clear the number of calls, the cost of each
         chargeable call and that this may vary across different networks.

    o    The chances of acceptance or rejection of an attempt by a viewer to get
         beyond the first stage must be shown on-screen in near real-time. This will
         be achieved as a minimum by a prominent permanently visible stand-alone
         display (whether static, crawling or scrolling) showing the total number of entries
         (paid and free) to the service in the preceding 15-minute period. This must be
         updated at no more than 10-minute intervals. This minimum standard would
         mean showing six updates within the space of an hour.

    o    The identity and contact details in the UK of the provider, where not otherwise
         obvious, must be clearly stated. Contact details may be in the form of a website,
         a PO Box address or full postal address. In addition, customer service
         arrangements must be in place via a non-premium rate customer service
         phone number.

    o    Key terms and conditions (Ts&Cs) must be provided on-screen periodically.
         Full Ts&Cs must be provided via the contact means provided. Key Ts&Cs
         are considered to be:
             o cost per call/minute, regardless of getting through to the studio
             o any age limit
             o the quiz question and any rules specific to the quiz, where applicable
             o details of any alternative free entry route (if one is provided)
             o information as to the broad chances of acceptance or rejection when
                 making a call to attempt to get to air.

    o    When offering cash prizes, and as a precautionary measure, a warning that
         entrants must be16 years or over should be stated on-screen at regular intervals.




4
 The cost of the call will need to be linked to a standard price point such as the BT rate, unless the service
provider is targeting callers exclusively from another network, in which case the standard rate from that
network should be quoted.


                                                                                                                 16
Call TV Quiz Services – a review of the Statement of Expectations
_____________________________________________________________________________
    o    The use of clocks and other countdown triggers must be clearly explained and
         must not mislead consumers into making more calls than they might otherwise
         have done because they think the competition is about to close.

    o    Providers of Call TV Quiz Services will need to ensure that they have complied
         with Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code (Rule 2.11 states: “Competitions should be
         conducted fairly, prizes should be described accurately and rules should be clear
         and appropriately made known.”). Ofcom has issued separate guidance about
         compliance with the Broadcasting Code.

5.0 Enforcement and monitoring
ICSTIS will be proactively monitoring Call TV Quiz Services. If the Code appears to have
been breached, an investigation will follow and sanctions may be imposed.

6.0 Compliance advice
We remind service providers that a free compliance advice service is available from ICSTIS
with a usual turnaround of two working days. Please contact compliance@icstis.org.uk.

7.0 Transitional arrangements
In order to allow service providers, and others in the value chain, to make changes to their
service in order to accommodate changes made in this Statement of Expectations, service
providers are allowed a period of four weeks from the issue date of this Statement of
Expectations to bring themselves into compliance with it and the Code of Practice.

Issued by ICSTIS on 4 April 2007

Effective date: Wednesday 2 May 2007




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